Growing more corn for ethanol risks harm to pheasant

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is highlighting a new article that warns of E15 dangers for the Midwestern wild pheasant.

John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, recently penned an article noting the potential harm to wild pheasant populations in the Midwest, in addition to boaters in Pennsylvania, due to E15.

Arway explained that hunters, anglers and boaters should be equally concerned about the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that ethanol be a fuel additive.

Marine engines are not designed to run on high levels of ethanol, and doing so in increased quantities may result in severe damage to the engine, the NMMA said in its newsletter.

In addition, wild pheasant farmers are required to devote more land — 15 million acres last year — to the production of corn to keep up with the demand for ethanol.

This pushes pheasant populations out of their natural habitat, creates erodible land and requires increased use of fertilizers.

“NMMA, along with other fishing and boating organizations, are advocates for boat owners across the country and continue to lobby Congress and the EPA in order to challenge the ethanol mandate,” Arway said.